N.B.A. This Week: Large Trades Might Shake Up Playoffs

Despite the fact that it’s onerous to imagine any player not being extremely joyful to be on the equivalent court docket with this guy:

Let’s get into some video video games.

Have a question or an offer for this column? Send an electronic mail to [email protected], or trouble me on Twitter: @Jonesieman.

Game of the Week

Boston at Toronto, Friday, 8 p.m., ESPN

Serge Ibaka is in Toronto for excellent and the Raptors’ front place of job is gleeful. Masai Ujiri, the workforce’s president, has been having a look to reach the forward for years, and he couldn’t have picked a better time to finally seal the deal. The Raptors have lengthy long past 11-14 for the reason that beginning of January, falling out of the second spot inside the Eastern conference that they might occupied for some distance of the season. Ibaka, an implausible player with playoff experience to spare, may well be exactly what they would like, every on the flooring and inside the locker room.

He will have to have the ability to plug up the middle on coverage and spread the bottom on offense, offering toughness and control along with the facility to knock down leap images. This season — his first outside of Oklahoma The city where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made Ibaka a perennial third or fourth selection — the forward is averaging 15 problems, matching his profession most sensible, at the side of with reference to 7 rebounds a recreation. The Raptors, with two backcourt stars in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, now finally have a big man in Ibaka — he is 6 ft 10 inches and weighs 235 pounds — whose skill suits those of the workforce’s guards. And in spite of the truth that there have been some murmurs about Ibaka having alienated his former teammates on the Orlando Magic, his winning seasons in Oklahoma The city taught him how one can compete inside the playoffs, which the Raptors will need within the tournament that they’re to have…

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